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What are Carpet Mats?

Lynne William
Lynne William

Carpet mats serve the dual purpose of preserving the appearance of carpeting and prolonging its life. Available in many styles and materials, some carpet mats are made for general use while others serve a specific function. For offices and commercial establishments, functionality and safety are primary concerns. Grooved, plastic mats that drain away water are suitable for building entrances, cafeterias, vending areas, and for placement near water fountains. These carpet mats typically have anti-slip backings for additional safety.

High traffic and other heavy wear areas such as reception desks, elevators, and floors in front of copier machines are also common commercial applications for plastic, anti-slip carpet mats. Mats made of colorful carpet inlays that form a company's logo are also popular commercial options. In addition, plastic mats made specifically for use under office chairs with casters can be extremely beneficial. Not only do they protect the carpet they lay on, they make it easier for the occupant to move about. These mats also prevent static build-up that can help protect sensitive electronic equipment such as computers and monitors.

Woman with hand on her hip
Woman with hand on her hip

A more recent innovation in carpet protection and safety are heated entrance mats. These heating systems are designed to fit underneath carpet mats, and serve to melt snow and ice and to rapidly dry tracked-in moisture. In confining water damage to the carpet mat and by minimizing the length of exposure to moisture, the life of installed carpeting can be significantly extended.

For home use, the appearance of a carpet mat or carpet protector can be just as important as its ability to protect the rug. Plastic mats, while effective, can be less than aesthetically pleasing. Many carpeting and flooring stores offer bound carpet remnants in various sizes that can be used as mats. The color of these mats can either match the installed carpeting or can be a complimentary contrasting shade. Typical locations for protective carpet mats in the home are entrances, hallways, bedsides, and underneath dining tables.

In addition to homes and businesses, automobiles are another place where carpet mats are commonly used. Particularly in front of the driver's seat, mats can protect the built-in carpet and potentially aid in preserving the vehicle's resale value. If a vehicle does not come equipped with floor mats, automobile carpet mats can be purchased at car dealerships for specific models. These car mats are typically decorated with the manufacturer's symbol or logo. For a less expensive but equally protective alternative, generic floor mats in various shapes and sizes can be purchased at most auto accessories stores.

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Discussion Comments


I know that my carpet car mats have kept my vehicle safe from several stains. Some of the mats have taken hits from bottles of oil and grease, and these stains will not come out. I shudder to think what would have happened to the floor if they had not been in place at the time that the stuff spilled.

My car mats are removable. They hook onto a small piece of plastic on the floorboard, and this keeps them from moving around too much. I take them out to vacuum them and the floor beneath.

Sometimes, I take my friends to the lake, and we get sand all over the floor. Thankfully, the majority of it goes onto the mats, which I can shake out. I don't mind vacuuming the car now and then, but we go to the lake rather frequently, so it is nice to be able to take out the mats and shake off the sand instead of having to do a total car cleanup.


I sure could use a rubber backed carpet mat under my chair at work. There is a shallow pot hole in the old linoleum right where my chair wheels roll across every day, and I get stuck there often. It's very annoying.

A carpet mat would be a cheap solution to this problem. I've asked the boss about getting it fixed before, but he just nods and changes the topic of conversation.

I know that they don't have the budget for fixing a hole in the floor, but a simple small carpet mat would keep my chair from getting stuck. I hate to do it, but since my company won't, I may pay for one myself.


@kylee07drg – You need it for the same reason that you have a mat in your kitchen. Yes, carpet can handle dirt and moisture, but think about the amount of it that gets tracked in right there by the door. It's much more intense there, and having a carpet floor mat on top of your carpet gives guests a chance to get some of the dirt off their shoes before walking in any further.

Also, some people will leave their shoes lying on the carpet mat. That ensures that they won't track any mud into the house. The mat will soak up any rain water that is on them, and it will keep the mud from soaking through to the carpet beneath.


It seems a bit redundant to place carpet mats on top of carpet. I only use them on hardwood floors or linoleum.

I have a carpet mat in front of the door in the kitchen. This is for people to wipe their shoes on, and it catches water and plenty of dirt. I didn't get a decorative one, because I knew that it would soon be covered in mud, so a simple dark carpet mat would do.

My mother has a carpet mat by her front door, but she also has carpet underneath. This just seems strange to me. Carpet is meant to withstand moisture and dirt, anyway, so why do you need the extra layer?

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